The Importance of Understanding Emotional Calls
According to Liz Colizza, LPC, NCC, Lasting’s Head of Therapy, the #1 tip for couples who are ready to increase their connection and protect their relationship against life’s curveballs and is to understand emotional calls.
What are emotional calls? Emotional calls are your daily attempts to connect with your partner. They can be posed as questions, (“How do I look?”), requests, (“Can you do the dishes tonight?”) or expressions (a long sigh). Every call asks the question, “Will you be there for me?”
“Every time your partner recognizes and responds positively to your calls,” says Liz Colizza, “They answer your subliminal question with a resounding, ‘Yes!’ and trust increases.”
Dr. John Gottman, the world’s foremost marriage researcher, discovered that healthy couples respond positively to their partner’s calls 86% of the time, while unhealthy couples on the path to separation respond positively only 33% of the time. Your partner sends you dozens of emotional calls every day, which adds up to 5,000 to 10,000 per year and 250,000 to 500,000 in a 50-year marriage.
These small moments and your responses build on each other to create a significant narrative that you tell yourself about your relationship over time: positive, neutral, or negative. This narrative is the result of your emotional calls being met or unmet. And it can change! In other words, you have the power to determine your relationship outcome.
“If things feel rocky between you right now, you can start responding positively to your partner’s emotional calls and begin a new story today,” Colizza says.
And the same rule applies for your partner.
When you feel heard and appreciated, it’s much more likely that you’ll respond positively to your partner’s emotional calls, and a connection cycle begins. You build trust in the small moments today, and then you have a great week, which turns into a great month, which turns into a great year and beyond.
Sure, you’ll still deal with conflict, but you can trust in the everyday proof that your partner is there for you when it matters most.
This knowledge and comfort in your relationship will help safeguard you and your partner against relationship threats that might otherwise lead to separation or divorce down the road.
“By creating this pattern of positive communication you are more likely to give your partner the benefit of the doubt in miscommunications because you have experienced your partner as accessible, responsive, and engaged which are the three threads of secure attachment.”
Lasting therapist Liz Colizza, LPC, NCC.